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Supplier Hurting the Little Man

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by jsslawncare, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    I've been buying mulch from one supplier for about 3 yrs. One of my customer's wanted me to redo all of their mulched area's about, 12 yards. I went to the supplier which is in the next county south of me. I pull up to the office, tell the lady I need 6 yds which is all I can haul at one time and, she says "we no longer sell any amount at one time smaller then 14 yds".

    Now the problems.
    1. I had already given a rough estimate.
    2. Wasted two hrs.
    3. Price difference
    Supplier price per yard- $15.00
    Landscape supply yard price- $26.00
    $11.00 difference.
    4. 12 yds x $15.00=$180.00
    12 yds x $26.00=$312.00
    Cost difference of $132.00
    My price is cost x 2 + $10.00 which is about average for my area and lawnsite.
    5. Customer's cost.
    Old $480.00
    New $744.00
    Difference of $264.00
    The good- She said my estimate was low and to get enough to do the job.
    My estimate was dead on. She just thinks I estimated low which was ok. The business wanted to sale to the supply yards and not to LCO's. That's fine I guess just let us know. You have my info. My last thought- They depend on LCO's for material to grind. Maybe we should haul it to our back yards. One mulch grinder has already went out of business this year because lack of material to grind.

  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    There's no one who sells mulch that delivers a 12 yrd load that asks for it? My yard sells materials to everyone at one set cost.

    I don't do business with landscape yards or nurseries, unless the client wants to support them, even with the inflated price.

    We also have piles of wood chips almost everywhere that I can go load up myself if all I needed was a couple of pickup loads.

    My personal yard contains wood chips and compost that I use as needed... There is always a way to get around people who have gotten to big to be useful, becuz there is always the No. 2 guy who tries harder... :)
  3. LawnMan19

    LawnMan19 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,280

    That's some bull ch!t. My yard sells materials to everyone at one set cost now if your a contractor you get a discount but it doesn't matter how much you buy from 1/2 a yard -200 yards but if you get it delved the cost varies but not the cost of the material doesn't.
  4. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Just because the material price went up it doesnt mean you have to double it. I price mulch based on retail pus my ad on plus my delivery. So there is no way i am losing on material. People around here are paying $28 a yard. I pay $18. I get $90yard installed. So even if i wanted to get it localy i can. 2hrs to get material doesnt make sence to me. If your getting $75hr at 2 hours you already dropped $150. How much are you saving on matrial? If you dont have the work then maybe its ok.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,186

    That's great that they are doing so well they can cherry pick customers. Hopefully enough LCO's get pizzed and go to the competitors. I only use suppliers that give discounts for more volume.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    If you have customers telling you that you're low....listen to them. I'd be hesitant to say on here that your prices are good....especially when you can't absorb an unexpected cost like that.
  7. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    A full size dumptruck can take about 18 yards and a small landscape dump truck (around here) takes about 7 yards. What a burn for you

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